There might soon come a time, perhaps this week, when Oklahoma president David Boren and athletic director Joe Castiglione approach their football coach about possibly leaving the Big 12 to join the Pacific 12 Conference.
What is Bob Stoops' preference?
"Well, I'm not going to speculate on that," Stoops said during Monday morning's weekly Big 12 coaches teleconference. "I'm for whatever our president and AD feel is best for the University of Oklahoma. As long as we get to play, I'll go play wherever they tell me I need to go play. For me to say what I prefer wouldn't be at all right to do."
The Big 12's future is in flux following Texas A&M's decision to leave the league on June 30, 2012. Nebraska and Colorado left the Big 12 before this school year.
OU opting to leave for the Pac-12 is expected to cause a four-team exodus that would include Oklahoma State, Texas and Texas Tech also joining the conference.
Asked what he thought of 16-team super-conferences, Stoops said: "It seems that's the direction the world's going. If it is, so be it. My job is we're getting ready to practice today and start working on Florida State (Sept. 17). That's what I'm spending my time on this morning."
Texas A&M's pending departure has rekindled potential realignment talks that first surfaced last summer.
"I thought it was behind us for a year," Stoops said. "I thought we would at least get through the season. I guess I always felt at some point it would come back up. I'd have to say not this quick, though."
Texas, which debuted the Longhorn Television Network last week, has long been considered the kingpin when it comes to potential Big 12 realignment, a position OU now appears to hold after Texas A&M's decision to leave.
"We went through all this last year and we talked about it daily," Longhorns football coach Mack Brown said. "We (supposedly) were in the Pac-10 at that time. It (the Big 12) was gone. We were done. Then the next day, we were here so it was all over the place. It seems like there's about five different scenarios everybody thinks are guaranteed to be the case. I've got my hands full with Brigham Young on Saturday and I know we're in the Big 12 until the end of the year. Other than that …
"I did not think it (potential realignment) would come up again. I thought it was over for at least 10 years. I really haven't thought about it. People think that's not the case. We've got a hard schedule. We were told last year we could join any league in the country if it changed. We've been told we can go independent, so there's going to be something really good for Texas at the end of this, so I'm really in one of those positions where our school will be OK regardless of what happens, and that's not the case for everybody, so I'm very fortunate.
"We'll end up where we want to end up, and that's OK."
OSU coach Mike Gundy, who ended his career as the Big Eight's all-time leader in passing and total offense, prefers the status quo, particularly given the proximity.
"I would hope that our league could somehow stay together and survive," Gundy said. "I guess it doesn't look like that that is going to happen. Or maybe somebody could come in because I like the Big 12. I like this part of the country. I like the recruiting aspects of it. I'm not afraid to say that. I like the rivalries that we have in this league."
If OU, OSU, Texas and Texas Tech head to the Pac-12, the remaining Big 12 schools will have to fend for themselves.
"You can't afford to get caught up in the politics of what's taking place in our conference," Kansas State coach Bill Snyder said. "That's for somebody else."
Last Friday, Baylor posted a 50-48 upset over Rose Bowl champion TCU, a school that's been mentioned as a possible replacement for Texas A&M.
Baylor coach Art Briles said he does not intend to talk to his players about potential realignment unless they ask, and none have.
"I have absolutely no control over what's happening," Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said. "I'm just going to focus on our big game this week against Arizona State."
The Big 12 went 10-0 on opening weekend.
John Rohde: 475-3099. John Rohde can be heard Monday-Friday from 6-7 p.m. on The Sports Animal Network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1.